We've written about how often you should wash you hair, sheets, towels and even your hairbrush, but following World Sleep Day, it got us thinking: how often should you wash your pyjamas?
As Harpa Gretarsdóttir, Fashion Marketing Expert at Icelandic fashion brand, IceWear, explains: “Pyjamas are the only intimate clothing we tend to wear multiple times as standard, with many wearing pyjamas as the only layer and without underwear beneath. This intimacy against our skin and parts of our bodies, for 6 to 8 hours a night under bedding, makes them a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other germs.”
So far, so gross. But wait! It gets worse...
“Add in that the human body sheds somewhere between 30,000-40,000 skin cells per hour, pyjamas are often teeming with potential irritants and pore-clogging nasties," she adds.
So how often should we be washing our pjs?
Harpa recommends washing pyjamas after three to four nights of wearing them - but if you bathe or shower before bedtime, you can extend this period of wearing without washing to 5-7 nights, maximum.
While for most people three to four nights is the maximum, if you’re prone to night sweats or have particularly sweaty and/or oily skin, Harpa advises that you should wash your pyjamas even more frequently and, in some cases, daily.
“The general advice we would give those who perspire more often is to change their pyjamas every other day (if not daily). This helps prevent odours and grime build-up, as well as providing a cleaner-fresher feel when you next put your pyjamas on," she said.
You should always wash pyjamas in a ‘hot’ wash - 60c or higher - to cleanse the fabrics. However, if you prefer a cool wash (which can provide a softer feel to clothes) be sure to add a laundry product that has disinfectant to kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria.
Why is it important to wash your pjs?
As well as keeping bad bacteria and irritants at bay, regular washing of pyjamas and nightwear is also beneficial to those you live with - it prevents the spread of bugs, foul odours and unsightly marks.
“In short," says Harpa, "Pyjamas are a breeding ground for microbes and other potentially nasty bugs, fungi and ‘nightmarish-under-a-microscope’ critters. The tell-tale signs being the build-up of odours and marks on the fabric the more you wear them over a series of nights.
“When you consider the look, feel and smell of your clothes after a day at work or (in relation to night sweats) your activewear after a run, that’s the grime and build-up that we lounge and sleep in regularly.
“Not only does a lack of washing and changing pyjamas create a dirty and smelly environment, but it can also allow infection and irritation causing germs and ‘build-up’ to come into contact with wounds or other parts of the body that could make us sick, or lead to outbreaks of acne and other skin issues.”
This originally appeared on GLAMOUR UK | Bianca London